Flooding Tips

Don’t Drive Through Floodwater

Find another route. When approaching a flooded area, you can’t be sure of the depth of the water or the condition of the road beneath it, which may be broken up or washed away. There may be no road left under the water. 15 cm (6 inches) of standing water – sometimes less – can be enough to cause engine stalling. In 30 cm (1 foot) of water, a typical car can begin to float and, as traction is lost, so is steering control. If the water is moving, your vehicle could literally float away. At 60 cm (two feet) of water, larger vehicles such as pickup trucks and SUVs are in danger of floating away. NEVER try driving through fast-moving water, such as an overflowing river—your vehicle could be swept away!

Never Cross a Flooded Area

  • If you are on foot, fast water could sweep you away.
  • If you are in a car, do not drive through flood waters or underpasses. The water may be deeper than it looks and your car could get stuck or swept away by fast water.
  • Avoid crossing bridges if the water is high and flowing quickly.
  • If you are caught in fast-rising waters and your car stalls, leave it and save yourself and your passengers.

What to do if Your Basement Floods

If your basement has flooded, there are some really important things you should know. When in doubt, don’t enter the flooded area until you are told it is safe by a professional qualified to do so.

First and foremost, consider your family’s health and safety.

Entering a wet basement could be hazardous! Before you enter your basement, consider the following:

  • Electrical shock – When your basement is wet, there is a legitimate risk of electrical shock.
    Do not enter your basement if you know or suspect water has risen above the level of electrical outlets, baseboard heaters, furnace or is near your electrical panel. Electricity can move through water or wet flooring and cause a severe electrical shock.
    If you are positive that you can safely do so, turn off your home’s power at the main breaker switches.
  • Gas leaks and odours– If you detect the rotten egg smell of a gas leak:
    • Evacuate your premises.
    • If you can do so safely, open all doors and windows.
    • Don’t use anything that could create static or a spark, such as electrical switches.
    • Don’t use lighters or matches, and don’t smoke
  • Do not enter flooded areas with natural gas appliances: Never enter a flooded area in your home or business due to a potential electrical shock hazard from electrically-powered natural gas appliances or other electrical sources, which may cause severe injury or death. If natural gas appliances have come into contact with water, they’re not safe to useFlooding can impair the effectiveness of safety devices installed in natural gas appliances and equipment. If your house has flooded and any of your natural gas appliances (including furnaces, boilers, water heaters and dryers) have come into contact with water, they’re not safe to use.If you’re renting a natural gas water heater or any other appliance that has come into contact with water, contact your service provider for an inspection and any repairs.
  • Pollutants – Sewage can contain bacteria and transmit disease and the floodwater in your basement may have originated from the sanitary sewer and contain raw sewage. Wear protective items including gloves, safety glasses, a face mask and be sure to wash thoroughly after any contact with sewage or items touched by sewage.

  • Chemicals – Cleaning may expose you to a wide range of contaminants, including those from the cleaning agents being used, as well as those that may have entered from flood waters. When you get to the cleaning stage, be sure to ventilate well and limit your exposure to contact and exposure as best you can.

  • Structural damage – While this is not that common, a flood with certain conditions may weaken walls or even ceiling structures. If there is any concern that structural integrity has been compromised, or you simply don’t know, leave the area.